Croatian Restaurants in Los Angeles Project

Something that’s been the works for a while. But thought it time to introduce it, although nothing is ready to published. So this posting is as much for me to document the program before I forgot too many details of the journey. And it’s been fun.

Probably can say it started with our trip to Croatia in 2013 to Croatia with Gary and Mary. We decided to spend one day on the island of Bra? to see if we could find any remnants of Scarich relatives. That was documented in an earlier post and Louisa’s short video. We met three third cousins, Mila, Mirjam and Ana. Ana was the genealogist and was interested in where her great-grandfather living and worked in Los Angeles (LA). I did some research at the Los Angeles Public Library in their genealogy section and on Ancestry.com. Mainly LA city directories, but also draft cards which yielded a dozen or so addresses. Louisa and I spent a fun day visiting the sites, taking pictures and talking to a couple of local residents (and getting yelled at by some telling us we couldn’t take photos). We found many houses where Scarich relatives had lived in the Boyle Heights area of LA and nearby. All of the restaurant sites are in downtown LA and have been replaced by high rises or parking lots.

That resulted in a email exchanges with Ana and digging out of family photos which resulted in one photo of Nicholas Tade Scarich in front of a house which was clearly at 3730 Hammel Avenue.

In the spring of 2015, the Los Angeles Public Library had an exhibit entitled “To Live and Dine in LA.” (Don’t know if the link will die when exhibit ends.) The exhibit was a joint effort between the library and the Los Angeles Library Foundation. (Need to confirm the details of the support). The links led to an essay by Charles Perry, Food Historian and President, Culinary Historians of Southern California who contributed to the exhibit. I contacted Perry and he generously sent an article he had drafted on Croatian Restaurants in LA with the suggestion that the effort needed to be developed. Well, I thought that this might be fun. Expand beyond the Scarich connection and learn a bit more LA history. I envisioned the effort as being presented somehow on a map. About the same time, because I follow the blogs about urban life and transportation in LA and elsewhere, I saw a posting by Omar Ureta about a map he had developed showing when all the buildings in LA county were built. Ah ya, the map showed me the possibilities. I contacted Ureta via MaptimeLA, a group dedicated to helping people learn how to use maps to help Angelenos. Another breakthrough, maybe I could learn how to do what I wanted. I’ve attended three meeting so far getting overwhelmed with the many mapping software options, but even more importantly meeting a bunch of dedicated, interesting, mostly young people. I hope to contribute to their efforts. I’ve been experimenting with those software and am now also taking a class at Santa Monica City College on GIS, specifically learning ArcGIS. Coincidentally MaptimeLA is working on a project on old restaurants that still are open in LA using a list in an article by Nikki Kreuzer.

As I said at the start, no progress to show. Sign off for now. I expect to edit this posting as there are several details to confirm or links to be added. I may also add a post on the software journey.

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